on Dec 6, 2006
DM of the Rings
And here I finally deliver the joke / point I wanted to make way back in strip #16. The rules as presented in the rulebook seem sensible enough: If someone enters a square adjacent to an enemy, that enemy gets a free swing at them, right then and there, regardless of who’s turn it is. I’m sure proponents of the system can give you a nice list of reasons for this, why it makes combat more realistic, or what exploit it is supposed to counter.
On the surface this makes sense, although there are so many exceptions and qualifiers and footnotes and special cases that three pages after you’ve read this simple premise you’re knee-deep in a dark coagulating pool of madness. Aside from the complications of suddenly inserting a turn out of established order, there are rules to check and bonues to apply and – most sadistic of all – more information to track. Now you have to track who’s taken an AOO this round and who hasn’t, and how many such attacks each combatant is allowed, and how to handle cases where two people get AOO at once, or what happens when one AOO knocks the target into an adjacent square and creates another AOO, or how to handle AOO between creatures of greatly differing sizes and how to deal with tentacled foes and how all of this intersects with rushing, sprinting, and grappling, or what to do if an AOO is possible but the potential attacker might not be aware of the target and does this apply to non-combatants and SWEET MERCY WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE!??! WILL YOU LOOK AT ALL THIS PAPERWORK!
Shamus Young is an old-school OpenGL programmer, author, and composer. He runs this site and if anything is broken you should probably blame him.